Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Before the butt crack of dawn

Ok, I have officially become one of those employees. You know, the one that ducks in the back entrance just so you might not notice how horribly late I am. We are five weeks into the school year and I have been back to work for the past 8 weeks. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have been on-time for work. It doesn't help that "duty-time" is the ungodly time of 7:10 AM. It is just wrong!

I guess the only option I have is to get up even earlier than I do now. Tomorrow the alarm will be set for 4:45. Of course, I need to NOT hit the snooze!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My mom has a jungle gym in her bedroom

Megan has a boyfriend. Actually she has lots of boyfriends. When she tells me that Matty, the boy across the street is her boyfriend, I have absolutely no problem with their 4 year-old love. It is when she tells me that the banister pole, upright vacuum or the broom is her boyfriend, that I begin to worry.

I am not sure where she got this from, but she actually stands there and pretends to kiss, french kiss, the item. It is disturbing on so many levels. We are obviously encouraging this behavior in some way, because I CAN'T GET HER TO STOP.

Yesterday, after an afternoon of dress up and "make-overs" with the 12 year old neighbor girls, Megan was outside playing in a cheerleader costume and tons of blue sparkle eye shadow. The Cul-de-sac was filled with kids and parents playing and we all catch Megan hanging on the light post hugging and kissing it. It was a bad stripper joke just waiting to happen! The outstanding parent that I am, I had to make the joke myself!

Coincidentally, Pat came home from a late night at work with a related story. He was talking with a co worker's wife when she announced "***** just got me a pink stripper pole for my birthday!" I'm not quite sure how that comes into conversation and why she felt the need to tell my husband this information. When I started to think about it, I remembered that they have two elementary-aged children. How on earth do you explain that to your kids? I would love to be a fly on the wall when one of those kids announces in class, "my mom has a jungle gym in her bedroom!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to School Night

Last night was the back to school night for Sarah's Elementary school. As an educator, I tend to see these types of events from a different perspective than a lot of my fellow parents. I always get a kick out of the "dog and pony show" that it usually is. For me there is rarely any new information disseminated that is earth shattering, but it is almost always informative.

Since I did not get a chance to attend the pre-school open house, this would have been my first meeting with the teacher. My Dad watched the older girls (bless him) and I decided to take Emma with me (see earlier post regarding supply issues). She decided to sleep through the Principal's presentation as well as the introduction of all the teachers and the PTA. Not the most exciting part of the night. If I could have gotten away with sleeping through it, I would have too!

After commiserating with another new mother about lack of sleep, I headed down to the classroom. Emma was happily sitting on my lap until about half way through the teacher's presentation. She started to fuss and the pacifier wasn't helping too much. I spent the last 10 minutes hiding in the coatroom trying to listen but not disturb too much. I eventually had to head into the hallway, but managed to get the gist of everything. I like the fact that Sarah has a young teacher who is enthusiastic about teaching. They spend a great deal of time on reading and math, but unfortunately only 30 minutes a day to devote to either science or social studies.

During the question and answer portion of his talk, the teacher was questioned about parent volunteers. The culture at the school is that parents sign up to volunteer in the classroom on a regular basis (every Monday morning for math groups, etc). It always made me feel guilty since I couldn't commit to a schedule like that. Well, this particular teacher did not put out a request for volunteers, nor did he have a sign-up sheet out at the open house or back to school night. Many of the SAHM's were expressing their concern and listing all the help they gave previous teachers. Even from the coatroom, I could sense the teacher's frustration. He is one of those teachers that likes to have his stuff together, he gets to school two hours early to make sure he has everything worked out. Sometimes it is easier to do things yourself than to explain it and put it in other's hands. Plus, I get the feeling he realizes that these parents aren't necessarily volunteering out of the goodness of their hearts. By being in the classroom they have the inside scoop on what is going on with their child as well as everyone else's. As I listened to the discussion, I couldn't help but laugh inside. Some of these parents need to have such control over what goes on in their kid's lives, it just makes me sick. I often just want to shake them and say, "let the teachers do their job"!!

My level of respect for this teacher totally jumped a notch or two.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Ok, I totally had a meltdown today. I feel as though I am totally coming unravelled. I am barely keeping my head above water at work. My house is a mess, My kids are living on spaghetti and chicken nuggets. And I have turned into the white trash neighbor that lets her kids run around unsupervised.

I am trying to remain committed to breastfeeding Emma, but the lack of sleep and stress has reduced my supply drastically. I cannot pump enough at work to provide for her the next day. I will use up my freezer stash much sooner than I thought.

Thank God for good friends to help talk you down. I realize that I need to re-order my priorities and get a grip. If Emma has to get formula, it will not be the end of the world. I am going to start her on cereal soon and hopefully that will help as well.

Deep cleansing breath.....phew!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Who is this woman and how can I be like her?

I swear, I cannot get my $#!% together.

I knew that having a third child would be difficult. However, I didn't realize that I would have NO time to do anything for myself. I really figured that by now, I would have gotten our household into a solid routine and life would be pretty smooth. Suffice it to say, we're not there.

The past week has been the worst. With Pat's new promotion also came a new rotating schedule. Three weeks of day work, one week of midnights and one week of evenings. We are coming off of the midnight (6pm - 4am) shift and starting the evening shift (3pm- 11pm). It has been a few years since I had to deal with this type of a rotation and I am so out of practice.

Emma won't let me set her down for more than 10 minutes at a stretch, therefore, dinner has been a crap shoot all last week. And without Pat here in the evenings again this week, we are in for more of the same. Of course, if I were Supermom, I would have made meals in advance and all I'd have to do is heat it up.

My house is a wreck. I try to straighten up at night, but I'm exhausted. I try to get the kids to clean up their stuff, but end up "helping" which really means mom does it while they complain! The girls want to play outside with the neighbors, which is great! Part of me wants to just let them go out without me, but the other part of me realizes it is so not fair of me to always let the other parents watch my kids.

I now know why my parents drink coffee after dinner. If I brew myself a pot, I can actually stay awake through putting Emma to bed at 9!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Soccer Dad

Up until 4 years ago, I was pretty much solely responsible for any child-related duties. I fed them, clothed them, bathed them, dealt with daycare and doctors, went to playgroups, etc. It wasn't that Pat didn't want to do these things, he just couldn't. He worked rotating shift work and we often didn't see him.

When I made the decision to switch school districts and take a higher paying job, Pat was behind me 100%. unfortunately, the reporting time for staff at my new school is 7:10 AM. Pat had gained enough seniority that he was able to adjust his hours a bit and take the girls to school. It was tough, but he made it work.

Since then, Pat has been responsible for all morning duties (except for packing of lunches) and has bravely dealt with getting two very moody girls dressed and ready for school daily. During the last 3 years, we have enjoyed having him work a regular day work schedule and so the girls have really gotten used to having him around. When Sarah and Megan were babies, they often wouldn't go to him or let him put them to bed because he just wasn't around much. Things are different the third time around. He is a much more involved dad, to the point where he is the preferred bed-time parent.

Last Tuesday was my school's back to school night. A night where all staff is required to be here and parents follow their student's schedule into the wee hours of the night (9:00). It was just easier for me to stay at work than to go home and return by 6:30 (especially when parking it a bitch for a school of 2800 students). Therefore, Pat had single parent duty from 3:45 to 9:30 when I got home. Shouldn't have been that big of a deal, especially since he had the day off of work. However, it was also Sarah's first day of soccer practice.

Pat had to pick up all three girls and then start Sarah on her homework (thankfully Megan is only in Pre-K and doesn't do homework yet). By 5:00 they had to be at the soccer field in order to purchase shin-guards and a ball before the 5:15 practice. Sarah's practice lasted an hour and he had to occupy both Megan and 4.5 month old Emma. They then went home and Pat had prepared an actual dinner (meatloaf, mashed potatoes and mac & cheese). When I got home at 9:30 all three girls had been fed, bathed and two of them were in bed. I was so totally impressed! He was exhausted. I do think he now has a new found respect for what I (and other moms) do. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous that he was able to do it all and make a REAL dinner. Then I remembered, he did have the whole day off of work and no kids under foot!